Students interested in a career assisting the disabled can take Cal State Northridge's assistive technology training course via the Internet next year, officials announced.
Beginning in May the $100,000 endeavor to put the Assistive Technology Applications certificate program online will allow students to complete the course in a week, half the time it usually takes, said Harry Murphy, director of CSUN's Center on Disabilities, which started offering the program on campus last year.
"The fact that we're offering it online makes it more attractive to people," Murphy said. "It's also going to help us move toward a leadership position in the field."
Last month, the center received a $25,000 grant from Japanese computer company NEC for the online program.
"Although it's a partial support, $25,000 is a lot of money, and it's going to accelerate getting this course online," he said.
The online program will consist of 92 hours of interactive instruction, Murphy said. Students will also be required to complete an eight-hour project to receive a certificate.
Currently, the 100-hour training course includes lectures, discussions, observations and demonstrations of assistive technology, such as voice synthesizers and other devices that enable those with sight, hearing or other disabilities to become more independent and productive, he said.
Speech and language clinicians, occupational and physical therapists, special-education teachers and individuals with disabilities would participate in the program, Murphy said.
For more information on the assistive technology program, call the center at (818) 677-2578 or visit the Web site at http://www.csun.edu/cod/.